Mounted Soldiers

WIPpet

Feeling a bit torn today…  I’ve finally got myself writing some new story pieces (mostly back story, true) for Courting.  Yay!  New fiction!  Thing is, the scenes as they stand now (in their very, very rough draft state) would be huge spoilers (not to mention that they really don’t read like much yet with all the notes and “____” that I used when I couldn’t think of a name or specific detail I didn’t want to stop writing to look up later).

But, since any work on Courting means the story is still my Work In Progress, I can happily offer you a piece of second draft level work from the story…  three sentences worth (1+6 minus the month 4):

A few mounted soldiers in what looked to be Lanii House colors gathered at attention near a footman who now stepped forward into the middle of the roadway and blocking their path.

Next to him, Lanilis Kailiis have his mount a slight kick so that he might move to the head of their small formation. The man’s off hand reached into the fold of his coat to retrieve a folded pouch of leather.

Cheers, maybe some jeers, even a few beers…for all the WIPpeteers and our creative chaperon, K.L.Schwengel, Queen of Flying Monkeys (among other things).

ROW80 Check-in

ROW80LogocopySome small progress since Sunday.  I guess that makes sense…  Two days are not that long of a time really.  But it’s progress, and I get a feeling it’s progress I’m going to be happy with for a while.

  • write every day; at the minimum, do 5 sentences didn’t write on Monday, but all better now…
  • finish a complete (rough) draft of Courting the Swan Song   started writing some backstory about Alanii’s mother and her ties to the Lanii family, as well as the ritual of Rebirthing
  • make twice weekly blog posts (WIPpet Wednesdays and Some Thing 4 Sundays) check
  • maintain active sponsor participation  check
  • energize myself with more physical activity  “dancing” in the kitchen and use of handweights…
  • reclaim my writing space no progress here, save gathering papers I’d scribbled notes on in one place for typing
  • go through some piece of my electronic home (desktop, laptop, server space, Dropbox, etc.) I watched old episodes of Cold Case and typed in some notes from scraps of paper around my desk
  • laugh more, hug my family more, share myself with friends more…  some extra family time, poetry reading and hugs with the Boodle.  Plans to get together with friends for dinner …well, a lot of things, including the weather, postponed those.
  • attend chats and sprints on Twitter (at least one of each) none

How’s the….

…Reading Going?

I have to ask: some recent changes in my reading habits combined with some research in how the brain processes information have me … well, curious mostly.

Guess how many books I’ve got in here (credit Wikipedia)

Like most writers, I love to read.  A book in hand is a beautiful thing, but for one reason or another, I’ve found myself drifting away from reading for fun and pleasure in recent years.  Part of it definitely was this little niggling critical voice that said I should be spending my time more constructively (a self-defeating voice at that, since it inspired me to play extra games of Solitaire and My Little Pony to boost my mood)…  Another part was the dread of carrying yet “One More Thing” around with me (ask anyone who knows me…  the rumors that I was descended from the great Galapagos Tortoises might be true).

So I had acquired a habit of avoiding fiction books, collecting books for “research” but not bringing them with me when I had to be out and about with my portable office, and trying to catch up on my classics via Project Gutenberg and Librivox.org (both sites I heartily recommend, btw).

But recently, I acquired (courtesy my wonderful husband), a PDA cum iPhone (as in iPhone without phone service because the device is broken).  With access to iTunes and a Kindle app (among others), I’ve rediscovered my love of fiction, having devoured an extra three books a week (not including audiobooks and podcasts that I’ve bluetoothed through the car speakers on the commute).

Aren’t they lovely? (cred Wikipedia)

Is this a good thing?  It used to be that I would read a book and the characters would stay with me for days and weeks (and often longer as I would create mental fanfictions for the characters I had grown to love).  I was quick reader even then, but I also liked to reread a lot and I would immerse myself into these fictional worlds through worn pages and crackling bindings.

I’m not inspired to reread these new e-books though–at least, not now.  It’s easy to read a page or two then drift over to play a bouncing ball game with a new pony then go back to read a few pages…  I’m finding it’s harder to feel connected with the characters.  I’m craving more action in the stories and less description, yet in my print books, I still find a lovingly detailed paragraph or two that sets the scene for my favorite character worth reading over and over.

So…  the verdict is still out.  Since I intend to use both e-books and print for as long as I have access to both, I hope to find a balance where the joy of reading is just that…  the JOY of reading and form will be of no consequence.

But I’d be curious to know your reading habits and if they’ve changed at all recently and why you think that’s happened.

ROW80

ROW80LogocopyAnd now that you know how my literary life is going, let me share my ROW80 life with you.  It’s… not going as well as I would like.

  • write every day; at the minimum, do 5 sentences not really…  I tried dictating a few notes and story ideas on the phone, but little more than that
  • finish a complete (rough) draft of Courting the Swan Song   I ‘talked’ with some of my characters after listening to some writing related podcasts and shared some mental rants about things authors do to their characters after reading some scenes in the e-books I’ve read
  • make twice weekly blog posts (WIPpet Wednesdays and Some Thing 4 Sundays) check
  • maintain active sponsor participation  check
  • energize myself with more physical activity  almost none…  I hurt my right foot on Wednesday evening, and I’ve hobbled since: still managed two small workouts at the Y even so
  • reclaim my writing space it’s hiding here somewhere
  • go through some piece of my electronic home (desktop, laptop, server space, Dropbox, etc.) organized stuff on the iPhone…  WHEEE!  a whole new electronic world to manage!
  • laugh more, hug my family more, share myself with friends more… some extra time with families at the Y for today’s Easter Egg hunt, does that count?
  • attend chats and sprints on Twitter (at least one of each) one

Look Around

Welcome Back,  everyone!   Both the WIPpet and the ROW80 move into full swing today (actually, the ROW80 started on Monday, but today is the first check-in).

So let’s get started with a quick…

WIPpet

Since today is the 9th of April, so let me give you five small paragraphs from Courting the Swan Song (4-9=-5, but I’m feeling positive today, so…).

The square Vissellii led them to looked to be one of the older courtyards of the city. The buildings were all tall, lathe and plaster wood-framed structures whose second and third stories leaned out over the open center like the trees that had formed them.

In the center of the courtyard there was a large fountain in tricot splay, each of its leaf-shaped outer pools sporting smaller sprays that flowed into the larger center. Nestled between the outer pools, small grassy hollows circled the water’s edge. Little stonework patios with a bench or two were set against the outer point of these small rooms. And in each there was a lady sheltering a group of young girls and women near her skirts.

Alanii looked around him slowly, taking in the scene, both pastoral and so very artificial at once. The trees, few that there were, stood tall and slender. Clearly they felt a need to push past their dead cousins that overstood them to reach the sun. At least there was sun today. It wasn’t as gray, even in this closed-in hall of outdoor rooms, as he’d felt the world had been for the past few weeks.

In all, he suspected that he had chosen his delays for all the right reasons after all. He was being well rewarded by the heavens or the Fates or…

Without saying a word, Alanii cocked an eye with some envy toward his Guard and their surety that some divine being was watching over them. Alanii knew his mother despaired over his lack of faith in the Goddess. His father, he also knew, didn’t care. The man had no concerns over divine providence, often noting that the holiest of men was no less a victim of the spring floods or the winter’s icy rains than the most devious bastard to burn in the low hells.

The scene in question comes from inspirations acquired in England, particularly from estates such as Audley End and cities such as Lichfield.  A some of all representating none?  I mention this because I know there is a large UK contingent to the WIPpet, and I’d love any comments on whether this place “feels real”.

As always, may I inspire you to go look at all the WIPpeteers?  We’re an awesome group, held together, loosely by the talented cat-herder, K.L.Schwengel.  :-D

ROW80

ROW80LogocopyThis early in the challenge, I really have little to report.  I’m on track with my goals (same goals as last round, reposted this Monday), except for writing new stuff.  I’m having a hard time starting myself this time.  It’s early though.  I’m sure by Sunday I’ll be moving forward again.

Checking in and admitting that things aren’t perfect though is kind of freeing.   Thanks for being here to encourage me.  If you’d like, other ROWers would love to have a visit from you too: here.